Lying on his hospital bed, 19-year-old Navi Mumbaikar Kamlesh Shinde is busy counting his lucky stars. The teenager had a very literal ‘close brush’ with death on Friday morning, when six bogies of a local train passed over him at Juinagar station, but left his bones miraculously intact. Only his left arm has lost some skin, which will be replaced in a grafting procedure.
On the morning of May 17, Kamlesh, a second-year Commerce student at a college in Sanpada, was waiting to board a train to CST from Juinagar railway station. As he craned his neck to see if he could glimpse an approaching train, he lost his balance and fell on the railway tracks.
“Falling on the tracks, I saw a train heading in my direction and immediately started running in the opposite direction. But my shoe got stuck in the tracks and I realised to my alarm that I couldn’t move. I immediately lay down on the railway tracks with my hands shielding my head. Soon, I felt the train bogies passing over me. After about six bogies had passed, the train halted to let passengers in,” recounted Kamlesh, on a bed at DY Patil hospital in Nerul.
He added, “Once the train halted, I tried to squeeze myself out through the gap between the train and the platform, which looked wide enough. I was conscious all through the incident, but when I scrambled onto the platform and saw my left arm bleeding heavily, I passed out. The next thing I remember, I was on this hospital bed.”
Kamlesh was brought to the medical institute by fellow commuters. Doctors were surprised that the youngster who had met with such a grave accident had escaped without any broken bones. Dr Ananta Kulkarni, the treating plastic surgeon at the hospital, said, “We are suspecting that some part of the local train hit his left arm, because of which there are three wounds in that area. In such cases, the victim usually gets grossly injured, sometimes requiring amputation.
One factor that worked in Kamlesh’s favour is that he is thin. Had it been an obese person, the chances of injury would have been higher, as he lay flat on the tracks. Kamlesh definitely had a miraculous escape.”
However, Kamlesh has lost a substantial amount of skin, because of which he will have to undergo a skin grafting operation. “It will be at least another two months before the boy can return to his daily routine, considering that his muscles have also been slightly damaged,” added Kulkarni.
The victim’s father Prakash Shinde, a daily wage earner, panicked when he heard news of the accident.
“When I heard that my son had met with a train accident I was frightened. However, luck seems to have favoured him, and that is why he survived such an accident without any major injuries. I am just hoping that he recovers soon so that he is able to join college once it reopens.”